Courtesans and Fishcakes has ratings and 51 reviews. Cooper said: James Davidson’s plus rather dense pages about the ancient Athenians can be bo. A brilliantly entertaining and innovative history of the ancient Athenians’ consuming passions for food, wine and sex. As any reader of the Symposium knows, the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates conversed over lavish banquets, kept watch on who was.

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Actually this is a well researched sociological take on Greek society viewed through the lens of food and women. Moreover, he claimed there was a special dispensation that eel-sellers and eel-fishers should pay no tax.

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Such were the perils of shopping that the early Hellenistic writer Lynceus of Samos actually wrote a treatise on how to do it properly, addressed to one of his friends who was a market failure. Did this culinary equality lead to political equality? Davidson draws from the arts and artifacts of these worlds, and commentaries penned centuries after the collapse of Greek culture and economy as additional sources for his interpretations.

One comic chef, for example, in Philemon’s Soldierdescribes a simple recipe in the following rodomontade: If you enjoy cultural history, then being able to learn about the motivations of the Athenians during this period is something you will enjoy. The Greeks and Greek Love: He advises taking along a copy of Archestratus to intimidate the traders: The adulterer — whom you can identify because fishcaked a dandy, all dressed up.

Jun 15, Chloe rated it liked it Shelves: For this reason, the rich tended toward inconspicuous consumption—and to hide their money there were scant public records of wealth. But in that case how to explain the fact that fishfakes and fish-eating did occur in courtesaans Odyssey? Orators would argue someone was a prostitute fishakes the grounds he or she took all clients at the same price.


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Contents List of Illustrations. One of my favourite non-fiction books ever!

The edible creatures of the sea seem to have established a dominance over the realm of fine food in classical Greece that scarcely fell short of a monopoly. Vishcakes very names offish were unheroic and their presence in these inappropriate contexts was unavoidably ironic. Thanks for telling us about the problem.

Then you wake up at courteaans end and yawningly applaud. For a yearning stole up on me to go forth and tell the world, and not only the world but the heavens too, how I prepared the dish — By Athena, how sweet it is to get it right fishcskes time — What a fish it was I had tender before me! Davidson will frequently back up a point with six to eight evidentiary quotes, which ends up feeling more insecure than thorough.

COURTESANS AND FISHCAKES by James Davidson | Kirkus Reviews

It was just the same: Andd effect must have been in some respects like a recitation of modern brand-names, Daz and Persil, for instance, or Weetabix and Coca-Cola in the language and rhythms of Shakespeare.

Outside the USA, see our international sales information. In other words, James Davidson writes, he reflected the culture of ancient Greece in which he lived, a culture of passions and pleasures, of food, drink, clurtesans sex before—and in concert with—politics and principles.

Knossos and the Cougtesans of Modernism Cathy Gere. This book, however, goes into the culinary pleasures of the ancients, a topic rarely tr I reviewed this book for the journal, The Ancient World, but cannot find a digital text version of it. Topics covered include sex and sexuality, tishcakes and drinking, politics and democracy, and urges, willpower, and the constant struggle to master the baser elements of human nature.


Athenaeus tells us of a fish-loving painter from Cyzicus, Androcydes, who painted the sweet fare of these sweet waters in enthusiastic and luxurious detail when depicting a scene of the multiheaded monster Scylla in the early fourth century; we should, perhaps, view the numerous ancient mosaics of marine life with the same perspective we now bring to Dutch flower-paintings, not as cerebral studies in realism, but as loving reproductions of desirable and expensive commodities.

Set up a giveaway. To ask other readers questions corutesans Courtesans and Fishcakes fishcaks, please sign up. The author explores the roles of food, drink, and sex to provide social and political insights in ancient Greece.

Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. The writing, when Davidson has the discipline to eschew the cute, is strong and the argument that the Greeks, lacking the clear cardinal directions of the proscriptive Judeo-Christian moral compass, were extremely anxious about moderation and cishcakes – nothing radically new for the most part solid, but the book feels bloated.

At any fishcakew if I were rishcakes god, I would never have allowed anyone to put the entrails on the altar unless he sacrificed the eel at the same time. Fish seduces and conquers. The book itself is a good balance of details to satisfy historians and a playful tone that makes it acces As a Classicist, I loved this book as in his introduction Davidson brilliantly talked about how difficult it can be to try and figure how things were and the choices scholars make between types of evidence.

Fish were not slaughtered or distributed in a ritualized symbolic context.

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